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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Saturday, May 7, 2011

On fashion and mothers

I have been pondering the issue of fashion, as in following fashion, a lot lately.

Last month I gave a little slide show for the local sewing guild on spring runway fashion. Yes I know, yet another in the long line of things I have done without any idea whatsoever of what I was doing on my famous "how hard can it be?" theory. You know the one I have built careers on.

Back to fashion. It was a fun, but tough audience. Later one of the ladies said to me that it had been informative as "sewers tend to forget about fashion."

The more I thought about it the more I found this an odd comment considering that this was a room of compulsive garment sewers. Maybe the rigours of fit and the pursuit of a pants pattern that works have overtaken an interest in fashion for many sewers.

I have also thought a bit about the whole fashion following thing as I hit the outlet stores with my stepdaughter. I personally love fashion but there is a point where a very large part of me says "Oh my gawd, how exhausting to be a 'what's in' chaser". Not to mention the frivolity of wearing yourself out going from store to store to update the handbag situation when there is global warming (we are still waiting on that in Nova Scotia), the dolphins, and so many people with nothing at all to put into a handbag.

I mean I care about those things too.

But I do care about fashion, just kind of trying to figure out the edges of it. 

As a sewer (and as such a wearer of clothes that have been produced in an ethical workplace - if you don't count the way the cost of fabric is sometimes not recorded according to Generally Accepted Accounting principles) and as a person who when she got up at 2:30 a.m. to drive folks to the airport and was told she looked "so coordinated".

But I think I have figured out a way to explain/understand/place fashion in my life.

Being in style, which I consider to be a step above and somewhat more thoughtful than being in fashion, is really about living in the moment.

Being in the moment.

I feel that living in the present, enjoying the most we can, the best we can, every day we have been given is just about the most important job any one of us has. It's the difference between happiness and unhappiness, between a life of regret and a life of no regrets. It's the difference between appreciating what, and more importantly who you have in your life. Fully.

Being in style means you pay attention to the time you are in.

It's a way of saying and of expressing that the here and now is worth something to you. It's not about wearing something that's worn out because, well, why not? It's not about waiting to dress up for a dress up event, or when someone else will see you, or when you lose that weight.

It's about saying May 2011, well I was there, and I lived it.

Even if I am 90 I want to look like the year I am in.

So amazingly in the way the universe converges sometimes I saw this tribute to stylish mothers online this morning and for me this just sums it up.

Who wouldn't want to be remembered, in even a small way, like this?


shams said...

Well stated, Barbara, and I agree. I like to be aware of fashion and trends but am very selective about what features I incorporate into my own clothing. Like you, I want to look like I belong to this era, which means updating glasses, makeup, and so on, at least periodically. :)

NuJoi said...

I love the link. My mother was a fashion maven. Her clothes, whether handmade or RTW, were always "right now." She pulled it off well. As for me? I'll get there one day.

Jodie said...

Well said! I like to "look" at fashion and see what the designers have dreamed up. However, I really prefer classic styles on myself, but it's fun to incorporate new colours and themes to update at least a little. Loved the link!

Ruthie said...

What a great post! I also like to look current, but some of my work suits are not the latest.